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Tolerant Teaching of Islam as Personified by the Holy Prophet (sa)

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

March 10th, 2006

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

In his Friday sermon Huzuraba gave a discourse on the tolerant teaching of Islam as personified by the Holy Prophetsaw.

Huzuraba said the non-Muslim objection that the Holy Prophetsaw God forbid brought a religion that offers nothing but harshness and killing and that there is no concept of religious tolerance and freedom in Islam and that it is this teaching that has become a part of the Muslim psyche.

Huzuraba said he has mentioned many times before that it is unfortunate that the actions of certain sections of Muslims, who work outside the Islamic code of conduct, have assisted the world to put across distasteful and offensive material about our beloved mastersaw.

On the contrary, Islamic teaching, as expounded by the Holy Qur’an, repeatedly mentions the rights of non-Muslims, justice and freedom in matters of religion etc. Fighting is permitted only at specific times and with conditions. In the times of the Holy Prophetsaw certain situations were created when fighting had to be carried out. Today the actions of the ‘Jihadi’ organisations have given the world the chance to make odious attacks on the most supreme benefactor of humanity who would not miss a chance to facilitate the enemy even at the time of battle.

He was compassion personified in all aspects of his life and set great examples of freedom of conscience and displayed the greatest of compassion in triumph at the victory of Mecca giving total freedom of religion and thus fulfilling the Quranic injunction of ‘there should be no compulsion in religion’ (2:257)

Huzuraba cited the extreme oppression of the 13 years of the life of the Holy Prophetsaw that he spent in Mecca following prophethood; the incident of Ta’if, the desperate episode of Sha’ib Abi Talib and the subsequent migration to Medina. When the pagans of Mecca did not leave him alone even in Medina and invaded the town it had been a very short while that the Holy Prophetsaw had left their relentless persecution; yet he adhered to his inherent high morals and supreme sense of courtesy even at the time of conflict.

Huzuraba remarked that it is said that all is fair in war yet at the Battle of Badr when the Muslims encamped by a water-spring as a strategic point a few people of Quraish came by to get some water. When some Companionsra stopped them from getting the water, the Holy Prophetsaw refrained his Companions and allowed the water to be taken, unconditionally.

Huzuraba said this was done only to uphold human values and was in no way an attempt to appease the pagans of Quraish whose bloodthirsty tendencies towards the Muslims were common knowledge.

Huzuraba related the incident of Ikrama, the son of Abu Jahl, who was a most vicious enemy of Islam and after the victory of Mecca was given the death penalty for his war crimes. He fled towards Yemen, however his wife pleaded mercy for him from the Holy Prophetsaw and somehow fetched him back. When Ikrama came in the presence of the Holy Prophetsaw the Prophet stood up as a mark of respect for him in his capacity as the leader of the enemy. Ikrama wanted confirmation of his clemency and also that his pardon was on the grounds that he stayed firm on his own faith. Confirmation of this by the Prophet moved Ikrama immensely so much so that he embraced Islam.

Huzuraba said this is how Islam was spread; with love and civility; while maintaining religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
Huzuraba explained the freedom the Holy Prophetsaw afforded the slaves. That out of sheer compassion for his salvation, the Prophet affectionately asked a Jew slave on his death bed to believe in Islam. Certainly he disliked slavery and when after marriage his wife Hadhrat Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) gave all her wealth and slaves to the Prophet he made it clear to her that he would free all the slaves; she responded that he could do what he liked and indeed the Prophet freed all the slaves.

Despite given freedom, one of his slaves Zaidra stayed with the Prophet and was most devoted to him. When his long lost family - who turned out to be very well-off - tracked him down and came to get him, Zaid refused to leave the side of the Holy Prophetsaw.

Huzuraba said after prophethood the inherent and natural high standards of freedom of the Holy Prophetsaw were further enhanced by the Shariah (religious law) that was revealed to him.

By the time the rule of the Holy Prophetsaw was established it was ensured that the feelings of others were not hurt. Huzuraba cited the incident of a Muslim and Jew who quarrelled over whose prophet was given most excellence and the Muslim slapped the Jew in anger. When the matter was taken to the Prophet he decided in the Jew’s favour and told the Muslim not to give him preference over other prophets. Huzuraba also related the incident when the Prophet stood up as a mark of respect as a funeral procession of Jew went by and that at the victory of Khyber he ordered that some Torah manuscripts that were found be returned to the Jews despite their earlier attitude.

To further elucidate the sense of justice of the Prophetsaw, Huzuraba read out some clauses of a pact that was made between the Jews and the Muslims of Medina.

It stated that people of both faiths would live with mutual kindness and sincerity and would refrain from oppression, each people would have religious freedom, the life and property of all inhabitants would be respected, all manner of disagreements would be brought to the Holy Prophetsaw for decision and each decision would be made in accordance to the respective people’s religious law. As the Holy Prophetsaw was the commander-in-chief, it was stated that no one would go to war without his permission. Huzuraba said the Jihadi organisations could take guidance from this; in that actions should not be taken without the permission of the government of the country.

The pact stated that if any people fought against the Jews or the Muslims, they would help each other and if Medina was attacked, everyone would contend together, that the Jews would not enter into any pact with the Quraish of Mecca.

Huzuraba also related the incident when the Holy Prophetsaw permitted the visiting Christians from Najran to offer their worship inside the mosque. At the time of the Prophet it was the responsibility of the Muslims to protect the churches and inns of the Christians as well as to safeguard their worship.

Huzuraba read an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiahas expounding the freedom and breadth of the Islamic teaching.

Huzuraba reiterated the supreme example of compassion and forgiveness as set by the Holy Prophetsaw after the victory of Mecca and invoked a thousand salutation and blessing on one who gave us this teaching; Huzuraba prayed that may we be enabled by Allah to act on this teaching.